Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Celebration Of World Breastfeeding Week

I realise that World Breastfeeding Week was last week, but better late then never, I say!! I know everyone pushes breastfeeding as best (the whole "breast is best" message ad nauseum) but the reality is, it is not that simple. With Stephen, I only managed to breastfeed for 5 weeks, despite appointments with lactation consultants, medication and much grief both from my inner voice, but also from well meaning strangers and health professionals that didn't know the whole battle, I mean, story. With Irini, we are nearly at five months, and still going strong. In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to share with you all the items that have made my journey with breastfeeding much easier.

My most treasured item at the moment is my Boppy pillow.

To be honest, this pillow is useful for bottle feeding (I used it for months with Stephen) but is a true lifesaver when breastfeeding. It helps raise the baby to a comfortable height, and takes the pressure off your arm. The removable slipcovers mean that it is easy to keep clean, especially if you have a chucky baby like me! The pillow also has so many other great uses, such as assisting with tummy time, helping your bub sit and propping them up, especially after a feed.

My second item is not an item at all, but a breastfeeding position. With all the problems with Stephen, we were so focused on getting my supply up, that using the lactation consultants to help me discover all the comfortable positions was simply not possible. This time, however, with more time available to utilise the LC without having to worry whether my baby was going to starve to death, I learnt how to feed Irini lying down. This make night times such a breeze. I simply bring her into bed, pop her on my breast, and then doze off while she sucks away. When I wake up, she has usually finished and I put her back to bed. If you want to try this, then the Australian Breastfeeding Association in Australia, or the La Leche League in the US have great counsellors and info that can help with this.

My third must have is the Bebe Au Lait, also known as a Hooter Hider!

These chic nursing covers are so much easier than trying to manage a muslin cloth or a blanket when trying to feed discreetly. Even better, the Bebe Au Lait has a rigid piece that keeps the top open, so you can maintain eye contact with your baby when feeding. I also use it to cover the stroller when Irini is trying to sleep. For World Breastfeeding Week, Bebe Au Lait has a promotion running all of August that includes 2 nursing covers and a Bug and Pickle set for $75, saving over $19!

My next recommendation is to invest in some nursing tops.

Glamourmom make some fantastic cami style tops that can be worn all through pregnancy as well as nursing. The tanks mean you can nurse very discreetly without baring your whole stomach or breast to the world. They come in a range of colours, and can be worn as a simple tank on its own, or, as i like to use it, as a layering piece underneath a wrap dress. This is the only way I have found to wear dresses when nursing!

My last recommendation is the LilyPadz nursing pads. These are a breathable, non-absorbent nursing pad that, unlike regular nursing pads, are invisible under clothing. I love these!!

What are your must-have breastfeeding tools? I would love to hear from all of you nursing mums!

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Anonymous said...

Ironically, I just finished weaning my daughter this week (almost 14 months). I also really struggled with nursing. For me, the nipple shield was a lifesaver. It never affected my supply and was absolutely vital for the first several months. We didn't get rid of it entirely until month 4. I extend my sympathies to everyone who does struggle with nursing. It certainly wasn't as "natural" as I naively thought it would be.

Polly said...

I applaud you for giving your baby the best!

I was a LLL Leader for 13 yrs. I get sort of irritated at the marketing of gadgetry to nursing moms. All one needs is time with baby, and some shirts that lift up from the bottom.

Those capes/hooter hiders ( what an awful tasteless name!) only serve to draw attention. Everybody knows what is going on under there. I think it's easier to be discreet without that.

The one thing I really do recommend is a baby sling. It really is possible to raise kid without cribs/strollers/babybuckets/pacifiers.

Chic Mummy said...

Hi Polly, I hate the name Hooter Hider as well - I'm glad that you can get it labelled with Bebe Au Lait instead!! I really like mine - I know people know I am breastfeeding, and am not ashamed by that. However, being very large chested and feeding with the football hold, without some sort of cover most of my breast and my tummy is on display. Because this makes a lot of people uncomfortable (rightly or wrongly - this is a whole other discussion!!) it makes me feel uncomfortable, too!

I use a sling all the time; Irini loves it! I use a stroller now for my toddler for when he gets tired, but Irini is usually in a sling, or her daddy's arms.

I've never used pacifiers, either, and it drives me mental when health professionals question me on that, like I am doing something wrong. I don;t even bother to tell them that our toddler co-sleeps and that Irini will too when she is a little bit older (she is right next to the bed in a little crib).

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. I struggled with breast feeding my twins when they were in the NICU. I ended up giving up after 3 weeks because of low milk supply. I am hoping with my 3rd baby I will be able to breast feed her. It is good to know that just because you couldn't the first time, doesn't mean you can't do it with another child. You give me some hope!

Chic Mummy said...

I was very worried as well that I wouldn't be able to nurse this baby; my best bit of advice is to organise a lactation consultant to visit in the first few days, especially the day your milk comes in. I was very lucky that the hospital i went to has LC's on staff - I could buzz for them as soon as Irini woke up for a feed. It's a bit confronting having a nurse grab your breast and shove it in your baby's mouth, but it really helped build my confidence. Good luck with your next baby!

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